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Treasury Minister Jim O’Neill resigns

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Former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill steps down from finance ministry role

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LONDON, Sept 23 (Reuters) – High-profile British Treasury Minister Jim O’Neill, a former Goldman Sachs chief economist, has resigned from his role at the country’s finance ministry, the government said on Friday.

O’Neill is a member of the unelected upper house of parliament and worked in the finance ministry as Commercial Secretary, with responsibilities including infrastructure policy and promoting Britain as a source of foreign direct investment.

The Financial Times reported in July that O’Neill could quit his post over new Prime Minister Theresa May’s approach to Chinese investment which appeared less welcoming than that of her predecessor David Cameron.

One of the areas that O’Neill worked on was the Northern Powerhouse project to improve infrastructure in northern England and which was aimed at attracting investment from China.

In his resignation letter to May, O’Neill said the case for the project to be “at the heart of British economic policy is even stronger following the referendum, and I am pleased that, despite speculation to the contrary, both appear to be commanding your personal attention.”

(Writing by William Schomberg; editing by Stephen Addison)

Copyright(c) Thomson Reuters 2016.